I always feel silly when telling someone “just be yourself ” in an interview as if that’s a secret tip they wouldn’t know. I’m sure any time I remind someone to do this in an interview they roll their eyes and think “wow, Lawrence thanks for the life-changing advice.”
But, it’s worth reminding everyone that sometimes it’s easy to go too much into “interview mode.” Don’t lose track of your best asset by not being yourself.
Other than the obvious point that lying is bad, here are a few reminders why authenticity could be a difference-maker for you.
1. People want to know what it’s like to be around you
It isn’t terribly hard to figure out if someone is qualified on paper for an MSL position. So after that barrier is broken, much of the interview process revolves around personality and how it relates to team fit and KOL interaction (here’s your daily reminder that the way you interview is often seen as the way you’ll interact with KOLs). Help put any hiring manager’s/decision maker’s at ease by removing any mysteries about who you are as a person. The opportunity to describe your personal traits might not always organically come up in an interview, so take the opportunity to offer up anything about yourself that you want to bring to light when prompted to walk through your background.
2. You should show your true interests in the position
Every hiring manager knows the main sells of the openings on their MSL team. Maybe it’s a new team buildout, or maybe it’s a first-in-class drug that the MSL team is supporting. These are the answers the majority of candidates would say. Don’t be shy about telling them minute details that have you interested in the role. It will give the interviewer a window into your mindset as an MSL and will also help separate you from the pack.
3. This is for your own well-being, too!
Imagine the mental exhaustion that comes with having to keep up with a “work” personality and a “home” personality. The stress that comes along with a job change often results in what can be referred to as “culture shock.” You’re constantly immersed in a new and unfamiliar environment. You have new coworkers who may run their day-to-day a little different than what you’re used to seeing and having new surroundings can make it tough to adapt. However, keeping consistent with the way you interact with people and carry out your responsibilities will help you keep your sanity as you acclimate.
Questions or comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Lawrence Beck, CPC